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L&G Leads The Institutional Investor Charge Into Affordable Housing


Legal & General’s new Affordable Homes business has signed up 14 established housing associations and providers to lead its housing operations across the UK. The move takes L&G one step closer to its aim of delivering a pipeline of 3,500 affordable homes.

The panel includes RHP, Optivo, Jigsaw, Flagship, Karbon Homes, Great Places, Chelmer Housing Partnership, Accord, Pinnacle, Stonewater, Regenda, Saxon Weald, Coastline and Raven.

Legal & General has committed £750M to new affordable housing projects throughout the UK, increasing its development pipeline across 41 schemes. It is pioneering the concept of the Institutional Registered Provider.

With a business plan to develop, hold and manage a blend of affordable housing tenures, Legal & General will deliver social and affordable rental homes, grant-supported shared ownership homes and Section 106 schemes.

Over the summer Legal & General Affordable Homes secured its first four affordable schemes, comprising 278 new homes in Croydon, Cornwall, Dunstable and Shrivenham. Homes will be available during the first half of 2020.

So far L&G has a clear field. They are one of a small handful of institutional players in the new-born affordable housing sector, since launching their plans in April 2018. But that could be about to change.

In December 2018  the Co-op pension scheme awarded a £50M mandate to PGIM Real Estate for social and affordable housing and in January 2019 CBRE Global Investors attracted close to £250M from 13 UK institutional investors for its first social and affordable housing fund. The CBRE fund offers a 6% total return on investment rented housing, shared-ownership properties, homeless hostels and housing for key workers.

Last month the Moorfield Foundation, the charitable arm of UK real estate private equity fund manager Moorfield, debuted as a social impact investor in houses in muiltiple occupation. It said it planned more growth in the sector.

New official figures published today show an increase in the number of affordable homes delivered in 2018-19 — but experts say the number is still way under the numbers needed to solve the housing crisis.

According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Affordable Housing Supply: April 2018 to March 2019 figures for England show that there were 57,485 affordable homes completed in England in 2018-19, an increase of 22% compared to the previous year.

Will the institutional tiptoe into affordable housing turn into a stampede or will L&G remain in splendid isolation? To join the debate register here for the Bisnow London Residential & Affordable Homes event on 11 December.